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Nestled in Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ (JLT) rather uninspiring concrete fabric lies a little treat for anyone remotely interested in outdoor sporting activity. With outside temperatures dropping enough to allow us to bravely vacate our chilled indoor havens, this should in fact be high on the priority list of things to do this winter. A golfing appetite is also handy.
Fringing the outskirts of JLT’s Cluster M, HDS Minigolf offers the sort of outdoor amusement that is often decried as missing from Dubai’s city of glass.
It’s just Dubai
With a light wind coming off the implanted lakes’ salty green reservoirs and breezing across the obstacle-strewn AstroTurf course, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported to an English county’s seaside pier town that boasts some of the best-known minigolf courses.
But a glance at the ongoing construction on skyscrapers and the surrounding melee of completed high-rises bring you right back to Dubai.
The course itself will not challenge serious golfers. But minigolf is rarely about improving your putting accuracy. It’s much more about an afternoon or evening out with a dollop of golfing frivolity. And the HDS course gets the balance about right.
Surrounded by a white picket fence, the 18-hole course is challenging enough.
There are holes whose fairways slope into bizarrely large animal statues, there are those with small pyramids standing sentry over them and there are some that are just good old hit-and-hope par 3s.
On a serious note, if you try it out, read the rules sheet slapped on the side of a shed as you walk onto the course. For instance, if your ball comes to rest against the green’s parapet and it’s impossible to get the putter head behind the ball, you’re allowed to move your ball four inches from the edge — the number of birdies and pars I would’ve scored had I known this beforehand is too infuriating to brood over.
Most of the usual minigolf bells and whistles such as randomly positioned water features are there. Although, it must be said, there are two notable absences from the course. The classic windmill hole is nowhere to be seen; the pyramids are a slightly anticlimactic replacement. And there’s no 19th hole — the kind that swallows the ball at the end of the round.
Worth a try
On the whole (pun intended), this little outlet is quaint, charming and, it must be said, rather enjoyable. It may not incite the type of euphoria experienced when sinking a hole-in-one on the Jumeriah Golf Estates par 3, but it’s better than staying indoors sipping tepid coffee and bemoaning the implacable heat — especially when you come out under par and triumphant over your competitors, even if they are eight-year-olds with a curious penchant for throwing away the ball when losing their temper.
If 18 holes of minigolf all at once is too tiring an endeavour, you can refresh half way at hole 9 with coffee, smoothie or ice cream from the neighbouring café.
The HDS Minigolf course is located at the HDS Business Centre in Cluster M, Jumeirah Lakes Towers. It has 18 holes.
Source: Thomas Billinghurst, Features Writer, Property Weekly
This section features lesser-known places and events that are delightfully distinct in their own way. It could be a quaint little café or simply a charming lake. If it’s got character and brings a smile to your face, it’s a hidden gem that will find a place on this page. If you know of a hidden gem, email the Editor at email@example.com